Balade

4.6
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727 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean

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Casual
An Eastern Mediterranean restaurant that is a genuine addition to New York City’s diverse International cuisines. Specializing in Lebanese cuisine, Balade is a quaint neighborhood destination in the East Village with a warm and hospitable setting. Owned and operated by Roland Semaan (Hilton Hotels, NYC; B.R. Guest Restaurant Group, NYC) – Balade, which means Local, when describing produce of high quality in Lebanese, is the true culmination of his heritage and impressive hospitality background and experience.

Voted Best Middle Eastern on Zagat 2015-2016

Dinners Choice Winner Open table 2013- 2014 - 2015
What 727 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great mezze and friendly staff. I have been coming for this place for about five years and the people I bring with me always love it.

S
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Good vegetarian options.. great for a get together with friends.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Balade was more than I expected in all the right ways! Our reservation got us seated in minutes, we had menus and service right away, and appetizers came out what seemed moments after ordering. All the portions were wonderful, and our family of four was able to share everything without breaking the bank as badly as some places in NYC. Fantastic dining experience.

B
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

excellent food. It is very tasty and very upscale, authentic.

M
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Headed to Balade while searching reviews for Mideast food downtown. Spectacular food but waaaaaay too loud, everyone shouting not sure why. The service was super friendly but was a bit disconnected- The timing on apps (hummus) was strangely long so I assume they forgot to send it. When it finally came we had to stare at it bc they didn’t send the bread at the same time. Then we had no utensils we had to wave someone down for them. But the place was lively and overall we enjoyed the evening. The food was great, the tea with mint and Turkish coffee was perrrrfect.

AS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 4

I came here because it was recommended by my coworker (she's Lebanese), and I was not disappointed by the food! We ordered hummus, grape leaves, lahme baajin manakeesh, and balade mixed grill, and everything tasted great. The service was well-timed, and we were having a good time; unfortunately, our experience did not end so well. My coworker recommended ordering dessert, so when the host came back with the menu, he told us that he had another reservation and that he needed the table. He offered us free dessert at the bar as an apology, but I was so confused because we had only been there for an hour and I had made a reservation too! We informed the host that we were disappointed and confused, and all he said was "sorry" and shrugged it off, as if he couldn't do anything else about it. So we asked for the bill and left - we really didn't care for free dessert, and they needed to know that this was not OK. I would like to think that this isn't a common occurrence at this restaurant, but I hope that they're able to better manage wait times and table turnover.

i
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Balade and am always happy to go there. We had a group of four and got the mezze sampler and 2 mixed grills. It was both delicious and gave us a a great taste of so many different things.

f
New York Area
185 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 2

EXTREMELY tight quarters. I am very used to NYC-level crowding with tables an inch apart, but this was really extraordinary. The two-tops were arranged with seating at right angles with the adjacent table's chair back up against the side of the table. Plus cacophonous noise level. Plus not cheap. Food was good, but the other qualities were not good and I would not return.

AR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Balade was wonderful! The food was delicious and great alcohol section. The host accidentally dropped my leftovers and they came out with a full dish to go (which they absolutely didn’t have to do!) and we had a great time.

JL
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Generous portions. Willing to serve dressing on side for person needing less salt. Waitstaff very pleasant. Food delicious.
I

JW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was yum. Loved the brunch plate with different options to pair with eggs and coffee

AF
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Best Lebanese food I've eaten -- and I grew up in a Lebanese-American home! Tends to be a bit loud. Very attentive service.

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first time ever eating Lebanese cuisine and it was amazing. My boyfriend and I shared mezze (5-6 total) and they were all rich and delicious. The ambiance is beautiful, especially for an intimate dinner and the servers were very attentive. The cocktail called “Ballade Special” with Lychee purée was a nice sweet surprise. As a bonus, we had Turkish coffee to finish the night and it was better than any coffee I’ve ever had. The noise level is a bit loud because of how small the space is but you hardly notice it after the first 5 minutes.

AM
London
8 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend and I enjoyed our dinner at Balade. The food tasted great, the service was good and the ambience was perfect. Would definitely recommend.

JP
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We found the food to be outstanding, the service was on point and we can’t wait to return!

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice spot!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The food was really good but the service was awful. For our friend’s birthday it took them 30 min to bring out the cake we brought in and they CRUSHED the cake and tried to blame it on us.

J
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Fantastic food. Great service. Just a bit loud and cramped.

TK
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely outstanding and the service was excellent. All ingredients were fresh and authentic. Absolutely delicious!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my husband here for Lebanese food for his birthday. It’s the best Lebanese food in NYC. Awesome interior, wonderful staff, and so memorable! Can’t wait to go back.

a
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely as ever..DELICIOUS is an understatement. Very attentive staff..the chef came out to sing Happy Birthday to my mother.. Thank you for another memorable evening

m
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Pleasantly surprised. Tried for the first time and kept it simple. Ordered four small plate (all vegetarian) and found the food quite good. Service was attentive and quick. Will definitely return and try some of the entrees.

B
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Wonderful dining experience!
I'd go back in a heartbeat.

H
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Nice restaurant and the food was good but the seating was tight. I recommend not cramming tables together so much that people barely have a place to sit.

W
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great service, pizza was delish

MG
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Appetizers were very good, entrees were just ok.
We did complain about the fish, and they took it right off of our bill.
Glad with their customer service. Also they only serve wine and beer.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The staff was friendly and helpful when we told them it was our teenage daughter’s birthday. She was very pleased with the whole experience. Thank you!

OT
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant was nothing short of exceptional. The menu had a lot of different varieties, inclusive of all Lebanese cuisine unlike most Lebanese restaurants in NYC.

Their Lamb and beef are both grass-fed and great meat sources also unlike most restaurants in NYC. The meat was cooked perfectly, they had a skinny shawarma option which tasted incredible.

The waitress was very nice and attentive. Great service overall.

I highly, highly recommend this place for anyone looking for a great middle eastern dining experience in New York City!!

OT
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

First of all, the food is great and they gave my friend a free lemonades when he didn’t like the date juice. This being said, we had a reservation for 4, and our fourth person was about 10 minutes late. They initially didn’t want to seat us since we didn’t have our 4th, and repeatedly asked us if the 4th person was still coming and generally made us stressed about the situation. There were other open tables at the restaurant at the time, so I’m not sure why they were being so aggressive.

AR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is always a pleasure to go to Balade: amazing food and excellent service.

GB
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 2

Tables are really crowded together so it gets pretty loud. Small plates are actually very large. We ordered 5 dishes to share for dinner (2 people) and it was too much food. The shrimp was delicious but everything else was average. Attentive staff

SD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Noisy, crowded, but it was Father’s Day. The appetizers are quite good but the salads not so much. I didn’t like the cheap, bland tomatoes that they use and I thought the rice and lentils could have used more kick.

BL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated my friend’s birthday and it was so much fun. Everything was very nice and delicious. It was just perfect. It was the only Restaurant in the area took large reservations ( over 5 people). Service , food, ambient, all was excellent..!!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service!

a
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Exceptional. Every few years I'm reminded how remarkable Lebanese food should be in this city of too many places serving decent but undistinguished Middle Eastern cuisine. We had an overloaded table's worth of mezes with barely room enough for an elbow or a glass, and all of it was exceptional. (OK, the haloumi was dull; if someone had told me it was faintly seasoned tofu, I'd have believed it.) I've been raving like a lunatic about Balade. I think people in my Pilates classes are avoiding me, afraid they have to hear - yet again - how much I loved the food.
The service was somewhere between rushed and disinterestedly rote.
There is one serious bit of buzzkill however and that's the deafening level of noise. Between the brick walls and hardwoods of this small space, no sound insulation anywhere, crammed with as many seats as possible, no tablecloths to muffle the sonic ricochet, it was like eating dinner on a crowded Herald Square subway platform. We finally stopped trying to have any real conversation and simply enjoyed the food. In a city full of excessively loud restaurants, Balade is no oasis. But I will most assuredly be back. The food is exceptional, but I'm tired of having to yell at the person across the table from me and my reservations will only be for the deader hours on the deader days.
Highly recommended. With reservations.

B
Denver
16 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal and service. Highly recommend it.

UA
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was good but even though we reserved and came ahead of time we had to wait 20 min for our table

OT
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

Fun small spot perfect for catching up with friends, healthy options too!!!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Good food, but service was lacking.

A
New England
3 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was fantastic; I loved our waiter as he was personable, helpful, and kind. He suggested 2 small plates per person and didn't try to oversell us on food. The food was also fresh and flavorful. My friends and I just enjoyed each other's company and didn't feel rushed to pay the bill and leave (there was no wait for tables at the time). Would recommend without hesitation.

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